Cinco Ranch Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Although the vehicles that most people drive today are much safer than the ones which were on the road in the 1900s, car crashes still kill or injure millions of Americans every year. An outsized proportion of these victims are helpless pedestrians. These individuals have no restraint systems or steel cages to protect them. They literally only have the clothes on their backs.
At the West Law Office, our compassionate Cinco Ranch pedestrian accident attorneys understand the intense pain and suffering these victims must endure, along with the staggering amount of medical bills they must pay. So, we work hard to obtain fair compensation for their serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. In other words, financial compensation helps these victims and survivors put the tragic accident behind them.
Some vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents happen in permanent or virtual crosswalks. A permanent crosswalk might or might not have a stoplight, a Walk/Don’t Walk alert, and/or a countdown timer.
Pedestrians press buttons to activate flashing yellow lights which create virtual crosswalks. Some virtual crosswalks have overhead flashing yellow lights. Others have roadside flashing yellow lights. These signals are easy to overlook and easy to confuse with school zone or other warnings.
Pedestrians who are in the crosswalk with the light at the moment of impact clearly have the right-of-way.
If the pedestrian started walking when the light was green but wasn’t able to make it to the other side before the light changed, the duty of care usually requires drivers to wait until they cross safely.
These accidents are quite common at many intersections. Most city streets have wide lanes and short red lights, in order to quickly move vehicle traffic. Therefore, a person with any mobility impairment often doesn’t have enough time to cross.
Most pedestrian accidents occur outside permanent or virtual crosswalks, usually when the victim is crossing against the light. Compensation is still available in these claims, but the case is more complex.
These victims must use the ordinary negligence doctrine. They must establish a lack of care by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. As mentioned, if a motorist sees a pedestrian crossing the street, the motorist has a duty to avoid hitting the pedestrian if possible. Usually, that simply means slowing down.
Such cases are complex because some insurance company defenses often come into play. The sudden emergency defense is a good example. This doctrine excuses negligence if the tortfeasor:
- Reasonably reacted to
- A sudden emergency.
Most people react reasonably to pedestrian crashes. They pull over and wait for emergency responders. But a jaywalking pedestrian is not a “sudden emergency” in this context. This label only applies to completely unexpected situations, like a lightning strike or hood fly-up.
The distracted walking defense might apply as well. Essentially, the insurance company argues that the victim didn’t stop and look both ways. This defense is only effective if the insurance company proves that the victim was so immersed in a device or otherwise distracted that s/he was completely oblivious to the surroundings.
Contact a Diligent Fort Bend County Lawyer
Personal injury victims deserve fair compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Cinco Ranch personal injury attorney, contact The West Law Office. You have a limited amount of time to act.